Saturday, November 07, 2009

eBay retains its title as the joke of online shopping sites

I used to be an extensive eBay shopper, but have tapered off over the years as the grasping nature of the management team has ruined the ambience. Still, I can't help marveling at how they have managed to kill the golden online auction goose and consequently I got a chuckle out of their latest faux pas - eBay Payment Reminders: eBay screws up again:

Do you remember when eBay was the Great White Shark of online auction sites? Now they seem to be more like Bozo. The latest evidence is the great eBay Payment Reminder debacle which started on Friday. Instead of sending out a "You’ve Won…" notice to winning auction bidders and purchasers from eBay stores, they are waiting 48 hours and then sending out collection agency style emails that are fetchingly titled "Please pay for your…".


The problem with this is that many eBay sellers encourage buyers to shop around for multiple days amongst their other auctions and eBay store items to buy more and save on combined shipping. Sellers woke up Saturday to find irate emails from customers they had encouraged to keep shopping, but who had exceeded eBay’s arbitrary 48 hour limit and were hit with the "Please pay…" emails for their purchases over the past few days.

The sellers can't change the emails or opt out of them so they are suffering from outraged buyers who can't discern that the emails came from the robots at eBay and not the sellers themselves. Undoubtedly eBay sees some money in this for themselves, but it is hard to see how. Meanwhile the sellers are scrambling to figure out how to tell their customers that it is yet another eBay screw-up.